British Wool’s ‘vital’ role in supply chain recognised by Defra review
Published on the gov.uk website the review recognises British Wool’s role in the supply chain from collecting and marketing wool, delivering shearing courses and working with universities to develop new and innovative uses for British fleeces.
It highlights the important function British Wool provides to farmers – particularly those with smaller flocks and in remote rural areas – who would otherwise be unable to create the economies of scale needed to sell their wool. It also identifies that many producers misunderstand what British Wool does believing that it buys wool from them and sells on to make a profit. This is not the case, and the review makes clear that British Wool collects, grades and sells wool on behalf of its members.
Defra praises British Wool for its strategy, ethos, and strong vision for the future, designed to ensure it maximises returns for members. It also makes several recommendations to help future-proof the organisation and its valuable role for the sheep industry.
The review recognises that British Wool is self-funded and has sufficient operating independence that it can effectively be considered separate from government.
Andrew Hogley, British Wool’s CEO said: “Defra’s review recognises the vital role that British Wool plays in the wool sector, the value we add for our members, and our contribution to the wider wool industry in the UK. By collectively marketing the UK wool clip on behalf of our members British Wool works to maximise the value of wool for UK farmers.”
Jim Robertson, Chairman of British Wool added: “British Wool’s board is supportive of the review’s key recommendations and looks forward to working with officials over the medium term to implement them. Modernising the 1950 Order is long overdue and will allow British Wool to better serve members by bringing in external expertise and drive further efficiencies in the organisation.”
Feedback from our industry partners has been incredibly positive:
Phil Stocker, Chief Executive of the National Sheep Association welcomed the review adding that “The NSA views the future success of British Wool as being vital if our wool producing sector is to succeed financially at an industry level.”
John Royle, NFU Chief Livestock Adviser told us, “We welcome the long-awaited publication of this review by Defra. We are acutely aware of the challenging global market for wool, as it competes with other fibres and the impacts of the covid pandemic. British Wool provides an essential service offering guaranteed collection, irrespective of wool type, location, quantity, and quality, and by grading and managing sales throughout the year they aim to achieve the best possible price for their members.”
NFU Cymru Livestock Board Chairman Rob Lewis further backed up this sentiment and added that the recommendations would “help to ensure that the organisation will be better placed to deal with the challenges faced by the wool market.”
Glyn Roberts, President, Farmers Union of Wales concluded: “British Wool continues to provide essential services for Welsh wool producers, and it is essential that the body's role is maintained.”
The full review can be found on the gov.uk website at Defra Review 2022
The Welsh version of the review can be found at Defra review-2022.cy
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